Sustainability: Australian Packaging Covenant (APC)


Since 2001 Bundaberg Sugar has developed action plans and annual reports for the National Packaging Covenant, a government initiative formed to establish a framework based on the principle of shared responsibility for the effective lifecycle management of packaging materials including their recovery and recycling and to ensure it produces sustainable environmental benefits in a cost effective manner without compromising quality and safety of the product.  We developed a five-year Action Plan based on product stewardship covering design, production, distribution, disposal, research, market development, education, labelling and manufacturing and retailing.  Our achievements were reported in the annual reports submitted to the Covenant Council.

In 2005 the National Packaging Covenant set measurable objectives built on earlier strategies and signatories had to report on specific KPIs based on the Environmental Code of Practice for Packaging covering source reduction, potential for packaging reuse, recovery and recycling, ability to incorporate recycled content, minimising impacts of packaging, propensity to become litter and consumer information.

In 2010 the National Packaging Covenant was replaced by the Australian Packaging Covenant.  The new Covenant focuses on consumer packaging with the following three goals:

Goal 1: Packaging Design - to optimise packaging to use resources efficiently and reduce environmental impact without compromising product quality and safety.  Implement design and procurement processes consistent with the Sustainable Packaging Guidelines

Goal 2: Recycling – the efficient collection and recycling of packaging.

Goal 3: Product Stewardship – Reduction in packaging items in the litter stream.

In 2011 Bundaberg Sugar developed a 5-year action plan in accordance with the three goals set out by the Australian Packaging Covenant.